• Resolving Problems

Lopsided Friendship: Friends won’t come to her house

Published: January 16, 2016 | By | 13 Replies Continue Reading
A single woman is unsettled that her married friends never make it to her house to visit.

QUESTION

Hi,

I have friends (a married couple with a 10-year-old child) who I only see when I go to their place. We make no plans otherwise. The husband, whom I know from work, keeps asking me to go over but it feels like I always land up unannounced.

Have asked them to come to my place, but always get excuses. The husband says there is nothing to do at my place…I am genuinely tired of trying to maintain this ‘friendship’ and it certainly doesn’t feel like one.

Am I being silly to feel insulted that they never initiate any plans or come to my place? I do feel taken for granted. Please help. Is it time to just step back?

Signed, Taken For Granted

ANSWER

Dear Taken for Granted,

I’m assuming from your note that you are a single person and probably less encumbered with responsibilities than your friends with a young child. Maybe your friends make that assumption, too. Sometimes kids, especially only children, feel like they have nothing to do if they visit another home without other children.

However, I’m not sure why you wind up at your friends’ home “feeling” unannounced. Does the husband extend a general invitation or does he set a specific day and time? If it’s the former, it’s understandable you would feel that way.

In any case, if it feels unsettling then you need to trust your gut. I think you should probably take a step back from this situation, perhaps by visiting less frequently. You don’t want to do anything that could potentially interfere with your workplace relationship with the husband by getting in a tiff over this lopsided relationship. My advice would be to spend more of your time thinking about other friendships that are easier to arrange than this one.

Hope this helps!

Best, Irene

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Category: one-sided friendships, RESOLVING PROBLEMS

Comments (13)

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  1. Kendra says:

    Sounds uncomfortable for you. I would ask him to be specific about what he meant when he said there was nothing to do at your home. Then you’ll better under the comment. I wouldn’t take it personally. If it’s too uncomfortable or making you feel uneasy, Drop the relationship. Friendship is supposed to be enjoyable.

  2. ajnaT says:

    Perhaps your home reminds them of how peacefully they used to live before the chaos of marriage and children. Maybe they resent being parents. They visit your uncomplicated sanctuary and know they need to return to the Real World.

    As a childfree and single 50 year old woman, I know what I prefer.

  3. lua says:

    I have been in similar situations and found it was easier for me go meet up with the friends with kids at their house. Usually if they made effort to stop by my place at least once or twice, I gave them more leeway. But I agree, perhaps step back, since you work together and let them make the initiative for once. In my experience, it’s better to befriend the wives than the husbands.

  4. Maddie says:

    If they invite you over and you enjoy it, just reciprocate by bringing wine or dessert. Your letter is confusing to me. I don’t really get it. Also the husband needs to get a filter.

  5. GraceW says:

    If you are genuinely tired of maintaining the friendship, then stop. You said it doesn’t even feel like a friendship anyway. Quit going to their house if you’re tired of going to their house. Be professional with your coworker at work and leave it at that. Look for more reciprocal friendships outside work.

  6. Amy F says:

    I’m been single and childless all my life. I always go to my married friends houses, they have bigger places and I’m not the dinner party type. When my friends had kids, I did most of the initiating because I understood they had different stressors and priorities. I’m a kid person, so I usually befriended their children as well, sometimes going to their sports games or recitals. You can know your friends like and care about you or they wouldn’t extend invitations to their home. I don’t believe relationships need to be 50/50 with initiation of activities.
    In your situation I were u sure about my status, I probably wouldn’t say anything for fear of coming across as needy or insensitive to the extra time constraints being parents entails.
    Examine whether your feelings are about your own insecurities or if you think the couple is trying to distance themselves from you. Look toward the quality of your time together rather than the details of who, what, when, where.

  7. IBikeNYC says:

    “The husband says there is nothing to do at my place.”

    ?

    !

    I BEG your pardon?

    Terribly sorry we can’t keep you Entertained. Guess you’ll have to find a place where there IS something to do.

  8. Ruth says:

    First I’d switch from communicating plans with the husband to the wife. Second I’d stock up on kids movies and a few toys (if it’s a girl over say 9 you might get a few craft kits from michaels). If its that big of a deal, get a video game system and a few games. Third I’d make a few planned trips over there and observe what the child enjoys and mentally sort through how they can play that way at your place then organize your home to make it so. 4th when you think the timing is good invite the family over mentioning play activities, not telling just the father but both parents. Finally remember that you can do a million things “right” & ppl don’t visit for reasons that have nothing to do with you.

    Another alternative is to meet them at a park or zoo or minor league sporting event or a state park (hiking, fishing) all kinds of other family friendly events. It’s not their place nor is it yours and you could make a fun memory the child will look back on.

  9. Linda says:

    It’s possible they are concerned that their child would be disruptive — or bored — when coming to your home. Since you don’t have kids, this could be their worry, out of courtesy to you. When my boy was small, he was a “busy” kid and it took a lot of work and attention to keep him out of “trouble” in other people’s homes — unless they had kids he could play with.

    But that is only a guess. Work friendships can be delicate, and I agree that you should proceed carefully. Another option: If you like to see this couple, why not suggest meeting somewhere for dinner, on neutral territory. That way, they can decide if they want to bring their child or get a sitter, and nobody has to worry about anything but enjoying a meal and good company.

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